We’ve become accustomed to Kerry lifting trophies for their exploits on the football field, but yesterday one young Kerry student proved that the county can prevail against its competitors in the kitchen too.
On Thursday 11 May, secondary school students from across Munster travelled to IT Tralee but it was 17 year old Pádraic Randles from Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, Co Kerry who carried off the 2017 Supreme Apprentice Chef title.
The winning dish in the second year of the Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland sponsored Schools Apprentice Chef Programme was a marinated pan fried Skeaghanore duck fillet, potato rosti, spring roll with celeriac and cabbage, carrot purée, toasted hazelnuts and sweet potato crisps.
Joint second place was awarded to Emily O’Hara from Midleton College in Cork, for her pan-seared bream, and Lauren Wall from St Declan’s Community College, Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford who served up a herb crusted fillet of cod.
A ‘Lemon Trio & Chocolate Surprise’ earned Kelly English from St Colman’s Community College in Midleton, Co Cork third place for her.
The winner Pádraic walked away with a prize package that included a set of professional knives, €1000 equipment for his school, Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine in Kenmare, a year’s subscription to Easyfood Magazine and a professional food styling session at Easyfood Magazine HQ this summer.
In addition, the specially commissioned Supreme Apprentice Chef perpetual trophy was presented to Padraic by Michael Murphy, sales representative for Flogas Ireland.
This is the fifth year of the Apprentice Chef Programme which was established by Mark Doe of Just Cooking Cookery School and Mark Murphy, senior lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee.
Co-founder Mark Doe said: “Since the programme’s inception in 2012, we have delivered a series of demonstrations and workshops to over 2000 students attending schools in Kerry, Limerick, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford. Our objective is to promote the importance of healthy eating to enhance physical and mental wellbeing, encourage young people to consider a culinary career to help combat the current chef shortage in Ireland and improve their self confidence. Year on year we are overwhelmed by the high standard of the dishes produced by the students and we look forward to building on the programme’s success to take it to national level.”
For more information on the Apprentice Chef visit www.theapprenticechef.ie and www.facebook.com/theapprenticechef